Travel: Gluten Free Venice

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Having lived near Venice for 10 months as a coeliac ERASMUS student, I decided it was about time I wrote a gluten free Venice guide! I lived in beautiful Padua, which is a short train ride away, so it was easy to hop across to Venice for a day of exploring and gluten free ice cream eating.

Of course, since I last visited a whole host of new coeliac friendly gluten free eateries have opened. In this guide I have included my old favourites, plus fully gluten free locations and restaurants that have been accredited by the Italian coeliac society (the AIC). I have also included some others that I have seen recommended by other coeliacs.

Gluten Free Venice

Coeliac Italian Phrasebook

A few handy Italian phrases to get you started. English is quite widely spoken in Rome, but at least you can communicate some key basic phrases if you are in a total jam.

Sono celiaca = I am coeliac (female) [pronounced “sono cheh-lee-ac-a“]

Sono celiaco = I am coeliac (man)

Senza glutine = gluten free [pronounced “sen-zah glue-tin-eh”]

100% Gluten Free Locations in Venice

To get you started on your gluten free Venice feasting, why not check out these two fully gluten free options:

Grom

I am a bit obsessed with gelateria Grom. This fully gluten free ice cream shop makes some of the most delicious gelato ice cream around and they have wonderful chocolate-dipped gluten free waffles cones. They also sell various gluten free goodies that you can take home as souvenirs – their pistachio biscuits are divine. You can find four Groms in Venice and all are AIC accredited.

Mea Libera Tutti Sas

A fully gluten free shop owned by a coeliac. They have a huge array of gluten free products and the owners are also very friendly and nice.

AIC Accredited Venues in Venice

As I mentioned above, the AIC is the Italian coeliac society. The AIC set very high requirements for restaurant accreditation, hence you can rest assured that these locations will take great care to prevent any cross contamination when preparing gluten free dishes. Here are their gluten free Venice accredited restaurants, hotels and other eateries:

Gelateria Nico

This gelateria is centrally located and able to cater for coeliacs. Let them know when you order that you are coeliac and they will scoop your ice cream from a safe tub at the back of the store rather than using the main cabinet. They also have some tables to sit at if you would prefer to have an ice cream sundae and a seat on the waterfront.

Vecia Cavana

This restaurant receives rave reviews from coeliacs for their gluten free pasta and other safe dishes. They have a dedicated gluten free menu and will bring you gluten free bread and crackers once you request it. Staff are knowledgeable and the gluten free menu is extensive.

Hotel Al Piave

This hotel is the only one in Venice to be accredited by the AIC, in case you are looking for an extra safe place to stay. Upon request they can prepare a special gluten free breakfast for you during your stay. They can also cater for lactose intolerant coeliac guests.

Oke Zattere

This AIC accredited pizzeria is clearly serious about catering for coeliacs and they mention this on their website. They offer gluten free pizza, pasta, sides, salads, bread, cakes and drinks. Note a lot of reviews say the gluten free pizza (although safe) isn’t great in terms of food quality, however Oke Zattere gets rave reviews for other dishes such as gluten free lasagne.

Frary’s

A Mediterranean restaurant branching out from more than just Italian food (rare for Italy). Sort of Greek meets Italian food. The menu is 70% gluten free and staff can talk you through the best options. Let them know when you are coeliac when you order, of course.

Al Giardinetto ” da Severino “

This restaurant has a beeeeautiful outdoor terrace and I would recommend booking in advance. The restaurant is AIC accredited and wonderful for coeliacs. There is a dedicated gluten free menu with a lot of choice and gluten free bread is provided. Choices include gluten free pasta and various fish and meat dishes. A nice change from pizza!

Photo: www.algiardinetto.it

McDonalds

If you get fed up of pizza or Italian food (surely impossible??) and fancy a quick gluten free burger, McDonalds in Italy offers gluten free buns. It is accredited by the AIC and the buns are safe for coeliacs.

Other Gluten Free Venice Restaurants

Italy generally is VERY coeliac friendly. There is widespread understanding of cross contamination risks and the majority of restaurants will have gluten free pasta or gluten free alternatives available. Even non-AIC accredited restaurants can be coeliac friendly – just make sure you ask questions and let them know you are coeliac when dining at these restaurants.

Here I have listed a few gluten free Venice restaurants that I have seen very highly reviewed specifically by coeliacs, but there will no doubt be many other coeliac friendly restaurants that I haven’t listed.

Oh and note that if you are self-catering, all the supermarkets sell gluten free products and items are generally easy to find.

Ristobar San Polo

Coeliac friendly gluten free pizza available. They have a large gluten free menu with lots of choices, including gluten free lasagne, profiteroles and tiramisu.

Pizzeria Ae Oche Santa Lucia

Gluten free pizza and pasta, which can be coeliac friendly at this Italian chain restaurant. Plus they have a huge range of topping choices and also have gluten free beer available. American sports bar format…not exactly a romantic setting but good if you have noisy kids!

Trattoria Al Gazzettino

Coeliac friendly with plenty of gluten free choices (including gluten free gnocchi) and helpful, knowledgeable staff.

Tintoretto

A nice little place for coeliacs as they offer gluten free pizza and other dishes, prepared safely. Not as pricey as some of the other more touristy restaurants. They have a dedicated gluten free menu and staff are very helpful at explaining processes.

Osteria Al Pozzo Roverso

A coeliac friendly restaurant with staff who are very knowledgeable about their gluten free options (even their website mentions gluten free). The offering here includes homemade gluten free gnocchi. Also gluten free bread and pizza is available and they have gluten free tiramisu for dessert.

Trattoria Alla Ferrata

Gluten free pizza that is coeliac safe (and cooked in a separate oven). Gluten free bases do incur an extra EUR4 charge though (pretty standard in Venice when it comes to gluten free bases).

Osteria al Duomo

Homemade gluten free pizza, which they will take extra care with if you let them know you are coeliac. They have a nice terrace area.

Ostaria Antico Dolo

With a dedicated gluten free menu this restaurant is also coeliac friendly. They offer gluten free bread. Note a few reviews say this place is quite expensive, due to its central location.

Osteria Calle 21

Able to cater for coeliacs and with various gluten free dishes on their menu, including pasta. They also have gluten free bread.

Osteria All’Ombra

Coeliac friendly with a gluten free menu and nice carby choices such as pizza and pasta.

Thta’s all for now on gluten free Venice. For more general tips about traveling in Italy as a coeliac, be sure to have a read of my gluten free Italy guide.

If you enjoyed this gluten free Venice travel guide then you might like my other gluten free Italy guides:

Safe travels! x

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